Croatia is a home of a number of UNESCO sites. When it comes to national parks, Plitvice Lakes National Park excels as the largest national park in Croatia. Founded in 1949 and situated in the mountainous area of central Croatia, it is also one of the oldest national parks in Southeastern Europe. The waters flowing over the limestone and chalk have, over thousands of years, deposited travertine barriers and created natural dams. These have in turn created a series of beautiful lakes, caves and waterfalls that attract millions of tourists every year and enable many wild animals and rare bird species to survive.
Cultural sites in Croatia protected by UNESCO are situated on the Adriatic coast. Many of Meridien Ten tours start or end in Dubrovnik and Split, both of which are marvels of their own. Old city of Dubrovnik, or the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ as it is also called, preserved its beautiful Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains in spite of damages inflicted by earthquakes and armed conflicts over centuries. Similar can be said about the historical complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian. Although this one was built between the late 3rd and the early 4th centuries A.D., it is still extremely well-preserved. Many people are still impressed not only with the Palace of Diocletian, but also with the 12th- and 13th-century Romanesque churches, medieval fortifications, 15th-century Gothic palaces and other palaces in Renaissance and Baroque style.
Some 30km from Split there is another UNESCO site, Historic City of Trogir. This city is an exquisite example of urban continuity in which the orthogonal street plan of this island settlement dates back to the Hellenistic period. Over the centuries many rulers built beautiful public and domestic buildings and fortifications. Romanesque churches represent additional jewels any culture lover should not miss.
If you book one of our guided or self-guided tours, you will surely not miss Stari Grad Plain (located on the Island of Hvar), a cultural landscape that has remained practically intact since it was first colonized by Ionian Greeks in the 4th century B.C. The original agricultural activity, mainly centering on grapes and olives of this fertile plain, has been maintained since Greek times to the present. The site is also a natural reserve. The landscape features ancient stone walls and trims, and bears witness to the ancient system of land division. The agricultural plain of Stari Grad is an example of very ancient traditional human settlement, which today is under threat from modern economic development, rural depopulation and the abandonment of traditional farming practices.
Other UNESCO sites in Croatia are the Cathedral of St. James in Šibenik and Episcopal Complex of the Euphrasian Basilica in Poreč.